Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Winter has started....

As you may have noticed from a lack of postings in Decemeber, Winter has started... and with it brings winter snowsports... I've been snowboarding a few times already, and also have tried some skiing again... I created an offshoot blog, which started as an attempt to organize friends and trips up north.. but it has mainly become my own personal plan for the winter and a trip journal for documenting the days I spend up north...

ROCO is our group acronymn for Rockin' Out, a term which helps us to describe our attitude to ripping the mountain up.

I even sport a ROCO bumper sticker, courtesy of a founding father, Andy Rocks Out.

So I've saved up some extra vaction time, I have a seasons's pass for the American Ski Company Mountains and Loon, and am anxiously awaiting the harsh snowy winter which some locals even dread....

I also created another Trip Website/Blog for our trip out to Park City, Utah this spring..

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

shared calendar standard

I personally have a few calendars, a MS Outlook one for work related events, an iCal calendar for personal use(syncs with my phone cal), a Yahoo calendar for reminders I want txt msg’d to me, a family calendar to keep my family coordinated.. And the organizations in which I participate each have their own as well…. often just HTML/web based. I’d like to be able to manage just one calendar, and have the information fed into the appropriate application, or in the case of others viewing my calendar, they should be able to see certain events based on simple permission levels and be able to use their calendar application to include an event as well.. Do you see the problem? Event management is one of the most important technical challenges that can be solved but hasn’t to date. Their have been two similar standards which currently exist to date, VCal and iCal. While the two are not completely interchangeable, if you strip the extra tags out of each to a simple single event, most calendar applications can accept the event. MS uses Vcal within Outlook, and Open Source calendaring applications as well as Apples iCal use the other iCal format. Additionally with the introduction of RSS, and RSS news readers becoming more common (ie: myYahoo now allows RSS feeds to be added) this also provide another way to syndicate public events. But what if you want to share events with just family? just friends? just coworkers? or even just a specific person? Today’s technology really doesn’t support unified calendaring without some kind of synchronization software or knowing what the other people use for their calendar application.
Well, good news, M$ is starting to realize this problem and do something about it… Actually, I give credit to Ray Ozzie (founder of Groove Networks collaboration software) for bringing this challenge to Microsoft’s attention. Some people like to think of sports figures as people they would like to meet, or famous politicians, personally… Ray Ozzie is a guy who I deeply respect as a tech savy business leader. He has a good concept for what is important to businesses, and great ideas for solving their challenges through use of technology. Upon graduation from WPI, Groove was one of the top company’s that I really wanted to work for, unfortunately I was unable to use my network of connections to get a foot into the door. And now that they have been swallowed by MS, I’m not as sure about the flexibility of their future.
In short, I’m confident that MS’s new standard as long as it’s spec is kept open can be a step in the right direction for our calendar synchronization and event management woes.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Let's do it again...

With temperatures tonight dipping below freezing, I anxiously await our first snow here in Boston. Meanwhile up north at my favorite northeastern mountains the snow has already started to fall, and along with some additional help of the snow making guns the mountains are starting to open up… This weekend I’m thinking about warming up the legs with a day trip up to Sugarloaf. This year I opted for a different season’s pass than the usual one I got the last few years, I got an All for One pass which allows me to go to 5 mountains across the northeast (Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Attitash- Bear Peak, Killington, Mt Snow). My goal is to get to each of the mountains at least once, I’ve been to half of them before… but will get to see some new terrain as well. The tough part is going to be finding adequately priced places to stay for the weekends(hopefully long weekends) which I go up.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wireless Broadband Anywhere (populated)

So this morning, I read some news articles on the web, checked my email and fantasy football team scores.. enjoyed my coffee and an hour of slacking off... the good part is, I wasn't at work... I was commuting into Boston on the train, and enjoying Wireless internet from my laptop... pretty neat!

Well, remember a while back when I was talking about Wireless Internet on the trains?

Today that day has come. With a Verizon Wireless (V620) card stuck into my Powerbook G4. Setup was pretty easy, just editing a few of the configuration files/settings and pluging the card in..

[instructions setting it up]

The price is still to much for personal use (60$ a month), but if you can get by with using it for your primary internet connection.. You can almost justify it..
[vzw router]
For now, business's will increasingly see this as an option for allowing sales and mobile workforces access to corporate data and applications. I can see it's implications also reaching areas of the US where hardwired Cable/DSL infrastructure is too costly to build.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Song of the Day

I've always wanted to be able to share a song or two that I currently really like...

Well, from now on I'll try to keep a small playlist available to you so that you can check out some music that you may have not heard before...

I can't provide you the files, just a full preview of the tunes :) - [music]

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Basin Street Blues

So back in middle school, one of my favorite Trombone solos:

Wednesday, October 12, 2005



Kinda like mr potato head for the web...

So the nice folks over at SitePal found my blog, and want me to help promote their product... what do you think?

They let you change characters, upload sound clips and change background images!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Do you read this blog?

What kind of content do you like to see here?
you may select multiple items

I like when you post pictures....
I like when you talk nerdy....
I like when you write opinion....
I like when you write about what's going on in your life...
I like whatever you post....
I never read your blog, it's useless...


After voting you may comment below, or click here and leave a mesg for more feedback. Thanks!

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Monday, October 03, 2005

gas prices

After buying a Pathfinder (averaging 15-19 mpg), gas prices and fluctuations now concern me... I do take the train to work, which makes gas prices less of an issue.. But it does give me an opportunity to 'stock up' when I think the prices are better...

Click here to view graphs...


Also, check out and contribute to: Cheap Gas a site which overlays gas price data onto a Google Map. It only is useful though if you post the price/location/date you last paid for gas to ensure accurate data.

Friday, September 30, 2005

e volution

one of M-W's definitions....
Main Entry: evo·lu·tion
Pronunciation: "e-v&-'lü-sh&n, "E-v&-
2 c (1) : a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state : GROWTH (2) : a process of gradual and relatively peaceful social, political, and economic advance d : something evolved

Are we evolving? things may becoming more complex, but to smaller amounts of specialized groups... majority of our society is using technology that they have little control or knowledge of it's inner workings.... are things getting better? it seems our world has become ever more fragile, a bit more insecure, too much paranoia... we accept technological advances, yet do not know the implications of our consumer purchases and the market shifts which are occuring... are things gradually becoming more peaceful? politically -- no way..... economic? the global economy is creating more wealth for fewer individuals... is it feasible to have a prosperous world for the majority of individuals?? if everyone was educated, everyone had a job, everyone had a place to live and food was available to all... can these circumstances exist and be sustained without depleting every natural resource we have here on our precious earth??? sure the modern world kicked off by the industrial revolution has made life 'better' for us, but has it made poorer nations 'worse'? what is it that you, as an individual can do.. to help the world move in the right direction? is our exponential growth in world population going to help us out?

What are we doing here???

Monday, September 26, 2005

why I don't have an ipod, yet...

I didn't say that I don't own a mp3 player yet...
(I own a cheap 256MB usb-flash drive based one)
but I still have yet to join the masses of i-pod affectionados... Why? I'm holding out for future, much better versions... they will come, but patience is required as they are still making plenty of $$ off of current incarnations....

Here is what I want in my I-pod:

A) Wireless syncing/playing built in.

My computer has 802.11 wireless capabilities and Bluetooth, the I-pod should be able to support one of these standards for wireless data transfer without the need for an additional adapter. I'd like to be able to get a headphones, car & home stereo products that allow me to connect the I-pod wire free (Yes I know about the iTrip, but it's an external accessory and a short term playing solution, quality doesn't cut it for me) Okay, but here's one more longshot add-on. If I can get internet in the room from a wireless router, or my laptop, or my cellphone... the I-pod should be able to take advantage of that connection so that I can play internet radio (aka my personal web music collection)

B) Cross platform syncing

I'm a geek. I don't have just one computer. It would be nice to be able to use the ipod with more than one computer, and be able to transfer more music onto it just by connecting it to a computer (see point A, wirelessly)

C) Sharing music made easier

I want my friends to be able to check out what I've been listening to, sure I know there is some copyright issues here but friends can borrow cd's and return them to me, I'd like them to be able to do the same with my digital music collection.

D) The longer I wait, the more features I get for my buck!

“Who wants or needs downloads if you can just stream it whenever you want? Disks are so overrated.” Nullsoft cofounder Tom Pepper Tom and I think on the same level...

Some neat devices on the horizon that would complement my 'I-pod of the future':

Airtunes Express - 802.11 Home Stereo

Bluetooth Headset incorporated into nice shades

Bluetooth Car Stereo - Pioneer DEH-P70BT: (available in europe)

If I was impatient, this could maybe tide me over:
Bluetooth MP3 Player from BoomGear

Saturday, September 24, 2005

freedom of speech - journalism shifts

With past days of print-only publications, the news/media could put a spin on any story they'd like... And I'm sure influential partys or officials could potentially impact the way which these stories were presented to the public.

Enter present day, and the world of bloggers... We, you and I, are now reporters... on a small and distributed level with not as many readers... but we have the option of voicing our opinions globally.. Digital cameras integrated into our phones, are starting to provide information and pictures from scenes which classic reporters are not able to respond to quick enough to capture the true chain of events... I admire some news organizations for recognizing their weaknesses and starting to embrace 'common journalism'.

The world may now know the truth, if they could only find/trust the information sources and take their contents and treat them as opinion and not necessarily fact.. as all views expressed are the individuals alone, and not necessarily reflecting the ideals of the group, city, country, or any other division/classification...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

social networking experiments

90's -> 99's -> 05's
homepages -> IM profiles -> webspaces (mis?)representing us

When you meet someone, it typically means you physically see, talk to, or perhaps shake hands and exchanged hello my name is... nice to meet you.

The internet has changed our perceptions of what it is to 'meet' someone, no longer are we bound to the specific communities we physically live and work in...

These social communities: (Facebook, Friendster, MySpace, AOL, LinkedIn, Match, IM chats) to name a few have become another way which we can narrow down the scope of 'who we'd like to meet' and if we wanted to... create digital and/or personal/professional relationships with these people...

These types of social networking experiments are simply that, attempts to get people to break the mold and try new ways of connecting with others you 'don't know, yet'.... We all want to have a network of friends, peers, acquaintances that can help eachother out or provide knowledge in a realm where we are thirsty for more... the initial bad stigma of using these 'geek services' has faded, people are beginning to recognize their worth in connecting people and expanding circles of friends and relationships.

I hope that face-to-face contact will remain important, but as our daily lives become busier.. at least we can stay connected --

Thursday, September 15, 2005


One of man's most dreaded activities in the daily routine is shaving.. It just takes time, time you could be sleeping... time you could be eating breakfast... or just time you could be enjoying your coffee in the morning while reading/watching the news.... but every now and then, work, girlfriends, mothers would like to see your face shaved because society thinks that's more socially acceptable....

I admit, the Gillette Sensor was a marvel of the technology... lets sell a two blade system, which actually does make shaving a bit easier... we'll make more profit, and sell the blades for more... people bought it, and then starts the ridiculousness....

a room full of razor engineers.. what can we do to make more profit and make shaving easier? Wait.. that guy over there has an idea.... Let's make a razor with 3 blades? 3 blades! you are crazy!! nobody is going to buy a razor with 3 blades... but we can try, market it well... start selling the two blade system for the same price or more than the jacked up 3.. then people will have to switch and we'll discontinue the 2 blade system... brilliant!!

6 months later...
a room full of razor engineers... scratching their heads, what can we do to make shaving more expensive and easier?? hmmm... one guy raises his hand, a lazer beam that zaps all the hair off your face! great idea, but we don't want to invest in the resources and maybe people would be afraid of shooting lazers on their mug.. hmmm... one guy suggests, lets make a razor with 4 blades!!! brilliant! meanwhile a small team breaks off to start working on the next revolutionary blade, 5 blades!! not 6.. six is too many, but 5 blades!!

true story...

and one of the reasons why I continue to boycott higher blade systems.. buy two blade razors and stop the madness!! shave with them until your face bleeds because they are so dull... the razor blade 'model' will remain, sure... but this trend of more blades is better is just total ridiculousness and has to stop before someone cuts off their head!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

'96 Pathfinder SE

With winter quickly approaching, I need a way to get around town and up to the slopes!

only 65k miles! Nice...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Block Island Big Boats

So, just got back from a great weekend on Block Island (south of Rhode Island)... The boat we were staying on was a giant 60 ft Viking yacht named Puppy Love... My first time sleeping overnight on a boat(only 3br, hah), and it was absolutely amazing... I'll post some pictures of the weekend soon --

Sunday, August 21, 2005

advanced traffic theory

The root of all traffic is sheer volume of cars going through a road, but a large portion of traffic is caused by masses of asses...

The problem? A few weeks of drivers ed, and a drivers test that any senile grandmother could pass and you are allowed to drive a vehicle... After that, no further knowledge besides what you pick up from driving day to day... Well I'm a strong proponent of an 'advanced drivers licence' or at least increased education on how to drive offered to the public to help America's roadway problems...

* Use the passing lane for passing, Indian Sprints -- Like a moving chain, this keeps the left lane traffic moving faster, and distributes the risk of being the leader 'speeding'...

* Pull over or Speed up... If someone, or a whole line of cars is queued up behind you, you are the problem. Speed up, find a spot in the right lane, and let the line pass you.

* Brake lights, leave enough room between you and the car ahead to not use your brakes if you are not stopping... look at the line of cars ahead of the car in front of you... If nobody's slowing down, the car in front of you is just an idiot...

* Merging, leave space for one car, let one car go ahead of you from the opposite lane.. Simple, yet many a time I see a person that is 'in a rush' riding up on the car infront to dis-allow a merge, jerk... I hope you get to where you are going .5 seconds faster.

i guess you could call this my information superhighway road rage rant.... comments and stories welcome:

Friday, August 19, 2005

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Family Vacation '05

8/10/2005 Wake-up at 6am, stumble half asleep into family
minivan.... hop on Southwest flight to AZ, drive to
Yapavai lodge and the Grand Canyon...

8/11/2005 Had a great breakfast at El Tovar a nice hotel right on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon... Most of the day afterwards we walked around the South Rim.... wonderful views... caught a sunset that night (see below)

8/12/2005 Headed down towards Sedona, some more spectacular scenery...

8/13/2005 Another day of travel, heading down to San Diego... 7 hour drive... we got an early start on the day and made it to San Diego around 4:00 pm... The hotel is the Island Palms Best Western, on Shelter Island right on San Diego bay.. With the marina off the backyard, and the bay and a view of downtown in the front....

8/14/2005 Checked out Pacific Beach, it has a long fishing pier which extends out into the ocean... Fisherman were pulling up some small sharks, surfers were off to the right catching some waves... and we spent the day in the water off to the left, body and boogie boarding.... The water temperatures were nice.. Ended the day with a great dinner at Joe's Crab Shack (I got some tasty dungeness crab) and a Dairy Queen ice cream while catching a sunset... Made our way back to the hotel and caught a nice relaxing eve in the hot tub and pool overlooking the marina.... pretty good day :)

8/15/2005 way down to mexico

8/16/2005 last day in San Diego...

Cape Ann Sailing - Gloucester Harbor

[click for Gloucester Harbor Webcam]

On Tues/Thurs during August, I head out of this dock and sail around Gloucester harbor for two hours...

Here is a shot of the harbor from the breakwater off of Eastern Point.

I wanted to get a better feel for the Gloucester Harbor area, but most likely I'll join the Sandy Bay Yacht Club in Rockport next year as it's a better deal and you get use/access to a larger fleet of boats....

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Coldplay - Twisted Logic Tour

I get to see Coldplay tonight, looking forward to it :) I really love their old cd's and the new one recently released (X&Y) is more of the old stuff, but new!

So today, August 4th, I'm heading down to the Meadows in Hartford for their US tour opener. I took the following day off from work, and then Sat August 6th I'm checking them out at the Tweeter Center...


My brothers Kev and Dan came along with me to the shows, and it was a great time... Saturday we did up right with a nice 4 hour tailgate... Good times..

Clocks ticking....

view the comments below to see the setlist --

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

the daily commute

After commuting on the train a good amount of last month, I must say... I kinda like it.

An hour is a great amount of time to have to yourself each day... Before I would commute by subway or bus, 30-60 minutes, but I had to switch lines, or avoid other passengers getting on and off at each stop, I took my laptop out maybe once or twice on the subway... The second I started getting into a book, I'd be at the station where I had to switch lines or some other distraction... and I rarely ever sat down, unless the train was nearly empty... Although I would still take the subway over driving anyday...

The scenery of the commuter rail isn't bad at all, passing over many bridges through water and salt marshes, boats are moored along the way at several of the north shore marina's... and the train passes right through the middle of them. You even catch a brief bit of the ocean while passing through Manchester/Beverly... and some great sunset's off to the west... My mornings usually consist of drinking my coffee, listening to tunes... and thinking about the day ahead as a nice slow wake-up call, my evenings consist of a brief rest after staring at the computer all day, perhaps with some tunes and taking out a book, article or laptop...

The conductors are pretty nice guys, say good morning and good evening to you on your trip...

The toughest part for me is the schedule, with subway life you can pretty much get to work at whenever and leave whenever and not be on a set schedule... This morning I woke up at 7:16 and had a choice of catching the 7:33 train or the 9:15am train.. So I had about 12 minutes to get ready, which may have been an all time record for me...
and tonight I have a few chances of getting home, but as the night gets later my options become more sparse...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

getting your first mortgage

Part of buying your first home involves researching a lot of different concepts and terminology that you don't typically use or need while renting or living free of a mortgage...

Now that I'm almost through the process, I'm going to document the things I've learned thus far about financing your first real estate purchase.

Good credit. Pay your bills on time, even if it is the minimum. If you miss a payment, make sure to pay it within 30 days. If you wait, 30, 60 or 90 days, it will be reflected on your credit report and will affect your credit score. Your score along with your income are the key factors towards determining how much you can afford, and how much the bank will lend you. The lender will tend to pre-qualify you for more than you actually should spend.

So, I didn't have a whole ton saved up for a down payment, but I was told that wasn't a huge problem as there are programs out there for first time homebuyers with good credit and without much cash on hand. The catch is: seasoned reserves, the lender and bank underwriter like to see that even though you don't plan to put much money down, they want to see that if need be you could afford a few months (2-6 depending upon the program) of mortgage payments. This means money that has been untouched for 90 days or more. In order to cover closing costs (estimate 5k), I ended up getting a seller concession clause in my mortgage, meaning I got a bigger mortgage to pay for the closing costs over the period of the mortgage terms. You still will need some money on hand for the costs you incur prior to the closing date; to cover for a small deposit to show the seller you are serious about the property and are making a serious offer. Prior to closing you will also need to pay upfront for a home inspection and appraisal which generally run between 250-350 each. You should also start saving your bank and credit card statements, pay stubs, investment and retirement account statements as well. If you've been renting, keep a running list of landlords, their address' and phone numbers because you'll need to provide this information to them. Keep a steady job for 2 years, they will contact your employer for reference.

Here is a chart of the current average 30 year fixed mortgage:

From what i've learned so far, the rate is a reflection of the amount of money out there in mortgages. If the rates going down, people are still buying homes, and taking out mortgages... This is a national chart, and there are a lot of other things to consider aside from the rate... (As the rate goes up, prices of homes actually tend to go down) And being a new homebuyer with not much assets, youre rate will most likely be higher than the average.

I was supposde to close on May 31st, but instead closed on June 29th and captured a nice low rate of 5.25 on the 80% portion of my loan.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

looking for a roomate...

How picky should I be when looking for a roomate? I'd like someone who I can trust. Someone with a reliable job always helps... It'd be cool if I could find someone with similar tastes in music, food, brews.. and perhaps share some interests... Maybe a similar outlook on life, work hard but enjoy whats out there-- Today marks the day where I start to 'interview' people to see if I'd like to have them as my roomate.. I'm starting at 500$ for rent, I posted an ad this morning on craiglist and already got a response... That is good, must mean my location is somewhat in demand...

we'll see...

Monday, June 06, 2005

moving day....

And, i'm done... at least for a while.

After moving yearly the last 8 years of my life, I am finally done with the yearly move thing.... wpi dorms, wpi fraternity house, worcester apartment, brookline apartment, allston apartment, cambridge apartment, and now gloucester condo.... phew... that was a lot of work... the good thing about moving every year is you tend to throw away stuff each year that you don't use and also notice the things you haven't touched since the last time you moved it... It was great living with so many different roomates, and in so many locations to really get a feel for the different areas of Boston...

So after last years horrible moving experience, I did it right this time:
1) Didn't move on the busiest Boston moving day of the year (September 1st)
2) Didn't use a truck rental service that has no idea how to run a buisness (U-haul is forever banned from use by me or anyone I know)
3) Determine exit order for stuff, and packing order based on that..
4) Everything boxed & labeled with new room codes (great for friends that don't want to ask you each time where this is going)
5) Took a day off from work, to avoid weekend conflicts.
6) Enlisted friends and family in the workforce...

And hopefully i'm done moving until I decide to sell or completely rent out the property. It's too early to tell how long that may be, but we'll see --

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

sailing on the Charles River

After deciding to move to Gloucester, I'm now in my final stretch of enjoying my time in the city... Sailing on the Charles River (by the Hatchshell) is something I've always considered since moving to Boston, but never got around to doing... Well one of my co-workers mentioned it to me, and I thought I'd give it a try....

So for 80$, you get a 30 day trial membership which includes full access to the classes and unlimited use of the boats... Here is a picture of the current conditions on the Charles:

I'm on track to get my Helmsman rating (good enough to let others on the boat with me), but if time permits I'd like to take even more classes that they have available.

Let me know if you want to join me sometime!! for a class, a solo sail on your own, or perhaps you can join my crew and help me with the sails!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


My birthday happens to fall pretty close to the half-way point of the calendar year, the timeliness of this date is perfect as it provides another annual opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture of my life, am I still heading in the right direction? are my new years goals and resolutions being followed? do adjustments within my personal or professional life need to be made?

modo ætas

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

North Shore - Gloucester

After living and working in the heart of the city for a few years, it's time I move on... I'm purchasing my first home, a condo up in Gloucester, MA. Most of my friends are still living in the city, which is good for when I want to visit -- But personally, I just couldn't keep throwing money away in rent...

So, this will be interesting... My commute about doubles, but with a commuter line stop steps away from my new home, I plan to start to enjoy my commute's with a good book or laptop(wifi coming soon) for the ride. It's going to be nice to be live so close to the ocean with Rockport, Gloucester and Manchester by the Sea beaches so close...

Sunday, April 10, 2005


aetas : an age, stage, period of life, time, era.

our lives, our experiences... the good times and the bad, with friends and family... coworkers, aquaintainces, random people that enter and exit our lives without even an introduction...

you start to wonder, with new life brought into this world every day and sudden or eventual life leaving this world daily... how are you going to maximize your time here to it's greatest potential?

Do you do the same thing you did yesterday? Do you try something new? When you say you like doing something, that means you've done it before... you're trying to get better or more efficient at doing that.. or maybe you're just trying to get a grasp on the concept of what you're doing..

live every day as if it were you're last? do you really believe that?
Maybe that would mean, don't pay your bills, skip work if you feel like it, call everyone you know and care about, enjoy someplace special....

live every day as if it were youre first... with that same excitement and wonder, to take advantage of what's out there.. carpe diem.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


continuous improvement

Nobody is perfect, but that doesn't stop us from trying to become better people. Some people are ok with letting the days slip by, doing what's required or asked of us, and carrying on. Others look for weakness' within themselves, their lives, their organizations, their company's and do everything within their power to continuously improve. Kaizen is a philosophy which has really struck a chord with how I try to give purpose to my time here on earth. As days and years quickly fall through the hourglass of our life, we must take each day and try to improve our life, the lives of others, and the world around us for generations to come...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

working late...

Well these last two weeks at work have been pretty busy. My code is being tested thoroughly but I guess when your software is going to handle the incoming loan requests over the web, it needs to be rock-solid. I've spent many a day well past sunset, but the sun setting over the city is usually a good time for a small late break....

To the far left is the buildings of Back Bay Boston, midway is the famous Fenway Citgo signs glow, and to the right you see the Charles River and the Mass. Ave bridge that goes to MIT in Cambridge....

Monday, March 14, 2005

Take Off!!!

What a great weekend :) I'll write about it when I have a chance.

Friday, March 11, 2005

software engineering

About 4 months ago I started a new job as a software engineer for American Student Assistance. My whole professional and academic life I've been hesitant to join the ranks of the programmers for a few reasons:
1) Theres always a new programming language to learn, slightly better than the last, but still not as intuitive as us as humans would like when instructing a computer how to react... I thought that I would wait until the day where I could in plain english describe to the computer what I'd like to happen and it would do the work behind the scenes... Well that day isn't coming soon enough... but it is still coming....

2) Trends in outsourcing, with more and more companies looking into outsourcing and/or offshore development of their code.. I personally saw the job market inside the US possibly diminishing in the future... but it seemed that management of the software engineers would tend to stay here on US soil so that company stakeholders would keep control of the development and process/progress..

Despite these few reasons I decided to make the switch, the increased pay scale and potential had nothing to do with my decision :) The reason I made the switch was to learn more about the process of software engineering, to understand how to someday manage software engineers, and to get a gauge to understand the time/effort required to complete specified functionality... With hopes and dreams of someday managing my own corporation, most likely in a technical field, I knew at some point in my career I had to experience the software development life cycle first hand.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Loon Mountain

So i've been ripping it up all winter long at Loon(25 days so far!). I got a Threedom pass which gives me unlimited use to Loon, Waterville, and Cranmore... Checked out Waterville once, it was pretty good... I hear Cranmore is a small hill in North Conway and I haven't got around to treking out those ways yet for that...

I rented out a condo alongside the base of Loon's south mountain, with waterfront views of the Pemi river... At first it was a lot of money, and wasn't sure if I'd end up getting the full use out of the place.. But everyone I've brought up there seems to have a great time, and I've been pretty much living out of the place on weekends...

Here's a picture of me with my youngest brother and sister on their first day of snowboarding!!

Surfing Bunnies (going after carrots)

by artist Aaron Leighton, visit:

click below to view my comments on this piece:

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sunray by Sun Microsystems

Back in the dot com hay-day I had a chance to work for Sun Microsystems. Over the course of my time with Sun, one of the most fascinating devices I came across was the Sunray device.

Pictured here:

So, what is it? and why is it so cool?

It's an ideal desktop machine for work, or even companies which want to give their employees a device so that they can work from home... Now this isn't a full fledged computer.. there is no hard-disk inside to store all you're data... but the desktop experience is pretty much just as if you were sitting there behind a computer.

Let me get to the cool part... Since none of your data/desktop is really on this little box (it's out there somewhere on the network), you are given the flexibility of mobility... Theres a slot on the front of these devices for a smartcard... Plug in your smartcard and up pops your desktop. Done working for the day? but need to maybe finish up a bit of work when you get home? Take out your smartcard, head on home... and plug your card into your Sunray at home, poof.. right where you left off...

Cool? Yes. Practical and Plug 'n' Play for the masses? not quite yet. but soon...
After all, the future is now...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

san diego trip

Ah New England... we look forward to warm summer days during the winter freezes and when we're melting walking down the summer streets we wish for the cool breeze of fall and early winter.... Well, this winter, aside from spending a lot of time up at Loon mtn snowboarding, I decided to get away for some time...... and am I glad I did.....

So waking up this morning, I decided to go for a bike ride down to Sunset Cliffs in San Diego....

What a great start to the day, and my week vacation in San Diego.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

myth tv - computers in the living room?

2005, back in 1970s when people were working on the room size mainframes the crazy ones probably pictured us flying around in hovercrafts and spacesuits... Well, even though we aren't quite there yet... we have come to the day where people are considering putting an additional pc in the living room... The age of the media center PC. Your best audio and video equipment is in the living room... You may have seen Tivo or other computer based program recorders out there.... Perhaps you already have converted your whole CD audio collection to a computer format like MP3... You would like to view pictures from your last vacation taken with your digital camera on your largescreen tv while your favorite songs play as background music. Perhaps you'd prefer to view the news, weather or email from the comfort of your own couch... This is the current state of living room computing... While most people are happy with a laptop and wireless connection, us geeks like to take it one notch further.... Living room centric computing.

Now, i'll go further into my home setup... along with some of the other options currently available.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

let it snow....

Today Boston got hit with it's 3rd significant snow of the season. Most people are complaining about how slushy and nasty it is out, but I just absolutely love it... Why? because a few years ago I came to the logical conclusion that if I'm going to stay around Boston, I need to pick up a winter sport.. Back in my younger years I always played Basketball during the winter, and from a large family so it wasn't very economical for us all to pick up skiing or other mtn sports. So during my college years I tried my hand at Skiing and then Snowboarding... It was fun. I was of course a bit fast and out of control... My scientific pythagorous brain was so used to thinking the 'shortest distance between two points' and that would tend to be the path I chose for going down the mountain... Result: Me flying down the hill at speeds way faster than any novice should be travelling... After a few near tree experiences (maybe a few collisions with kids half my size as well) I realized that speed was really something you mastered after you have complete control of your ski's/board. Well, last winter I bought my first snowboard,
165 cm K2 Nemesis, a big, light, fast board... but a lot of fun.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

let the fun begin....

good, intro's over... lets cut to the chase.

if you have a pretty good mp3 collection, but want to listen to it in other places of your home besides your computer room, you need to check out this software from Slim Devices This software allows you to stream music to any other laptop/computer in the house, preferably one in your living room hooked up to your stereo system... Ok, so you're not as geeky and don't really want a PC in your living room... you shell out some bucks for one of these

So it looks a lot cooler, comes with a remote, and is money and you know it... It's on the top of my 'I really want but have no reason to buy' list...

It get's better... using this software allows you to have access to your music collection from *anywhere*... allright, I mean anywhere with decent internet... A few things complicate the picture, but are easily overcome... First it requires going into your router's configuration and allowing a few ports forwarded to the SlimServer. Next you realize that your ip isn't static, and next time your router's IP changes, you won't know how to access your songs from the outside world... This is where a service/program on your computer from good ole comes in handy. They have services/daemons that will run and update a DNS table each time your IP changes (translate: you can have a name to remember that always corresponds to your current IP address at home)

I'll probably post a follow up with more detail, if you'd like --

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Internal struggle over quality of content

I consider myself a jack of most trades and a master of few. So if this sentence isn’t structured properly, or I continue to run on, sue me… I didn’t pay attention during the sentence diagramming portion of 7th grade English class. No, but really what I’m getting at here is criticism. My own self criticism of my art, writing, music compositions and recordings, has been the bane of my willingness to share my creativity with the world… They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when I’m the first eyes to see it, and think it’s no good… well, why would I want to share it with you then? Well this blog says those days are over, sure the things I may write or share may not be my finest piece… but at least it will be authentic. I don’t plan to put lots of time into this weblog, but I really do want to expose some of my creativity to the people who care to see it.

So thanks for reading, and if you do happen to like something I share, please let me know…

Monday, January 03, 2005

why blog?

why blog? what is the point of

Saturday, January 01, 2005

2005. Another chapter.

I'd like to start the blog with a song:

g michael amante - telaetas


Pronunciation: tel-aye-tas
[latin] tela -ae f.
a web in weaving; a warp; a spider's web; a loom; a design.
[latin] aetas -atis f. [age]:
of human life , either a lifetime or time of life, age,
time, a period of time, epoch.

Pronunciation: Jeh-rald, G, Jer-ry
Etymology: spear warrior

Pronunciation: Mike, Michael
Etymology: like the Lord

Pronunciation: Ah-mahn-tey
Etymology: noun, lover, adj. loving